Team Kalitta hangs on to points positions after rough outing in Reading READING, Pa., (Aug. 17, 2008) -- During final eliminations Sunday at the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa., the three nitro-fueled dragsters...
Team Kalitta hangs on to points positions after rough outing in Reading
READING, Pa., (Aug. 17, 2008) -- During final eliminations Sunday at the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa., the three nitro-fueled dragsters of Kalitta Motorsports combined for one round win, but each of the team's Top Fuel drivers were able to maintain their positions in the top ten in POWERade championship points with only one event remaining now in the 2008 Countdown to 1.
Doug Kalitta, driver of the "Big Red" Mac Tools Top Fueler, qualified his 8,000-horsepower rail in the No. 15 spot (4.088 seconds, 309.77 mph). Kalitta had the daunting task of racing the No. 2 qualifier Rod Fuller (3.861 sec., 310.77 mph) in the opening round of eliminations. The Mac Tools team put forth a great effort, but it was not enough to get the win light, 3.987 sec., 302.21 mph to 3.934 sec., 304.87 mph.
Kalitta's teammate and native Australian Dave Grubnic, driver of the bright yellow DHL dragster, qualified his Top Fuel machine in the 14th slot (4.006 sec., 289.76 mph). Grubnic and the DHL team got the big upset round-win over No. 3 qualifier Doug Herbert (3.884 sec., 309.13 mph) when the DHL team made their best lap of the weekend, 3.905 sec., 304.87 mph to 4.225 sec., 231.24 mph. The victory for Grubnic was the 150th round-win of his 14-year career.
In round two, Grubnic's DHL ride lost traction almost immediately after the race began and that let his opponent, Larry Dixon, get the win, 6.723 sec., 91.31 mph to 3.935 sec., 304.74 mph.
Grubnic is now in 9th place in POWERade championship points, while Kalitta holds the 10th spot. Only the top ten pro drivers in points in their respective classes will be eligible for the 2008 Countdown to the Championship "playoffs" that begin at the 19th event in Concord, N.C. Grubnic is four points ahead of Kalitta and Kalitta is six points ahead of the driver in 11th place. An elimination round-win is worth 20 points.
The next NHRA national event on the schedule, Aug. 27-Sept. 1, The Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, the most prestigious drag racing event on Earth, is the final event in the 2008 Countdown to 1.
Hillary Will, driver of the KB Racing, LLC Top Fuel dragster, solidified her spot in the Countdown to 1 by qualifying her Ken Black-owned, Kalitta Motorsports-managed race car in the No. 8 position (3.894 sec., 311.49 mph). Will raced No. 9 qualifier Brandon Bernstein (3.899 sec., 304.74 mph) in Sunday's round one. The two drag racing upstarts gave the fans a great side-by-side race, but Bernstein was able to get to the 1,000-ft. finish line first, 3.929 sec., 300.33 mph to 3.858 sec., 310.84 mph.
Will is currently in 7th place in points.